Paranoid Android – no iPhone App for EU Citizens in UK

While huffing and puffing about deals and non deal continues and the government spends money on ludicrous ‘no deal’ preparations that ought to be entirely unnecessary, those most closely caught up in all of this, the 3.5 million or so EU citizens in the UK and the 1.5 million or so UK citizens in the EU, continue to be an afterthought four those in power.

The Home Office, an organisation that has done nothing to shed the ‘disfunctional’ tag that former Labour’s John Reid gave it in 2006, announced months ago that it would make the facility for EU citizens to apply for ‘settled status’ in the UK would be a convenient mobile phone App - a snip at £65 a head. In the event even this government eventually caved at the notion that people who have settled in the UK and paid tax sometimes for twenty years or more should have to pay to apply to continue living their lives here and scrapped the fee. The mobile app, however, is now available for phones running the Android operating system - and only Android. The Home Office advice to EU citizens is online here.

Now at first glance this might seem logical, three out of four phones worldwide run Android - so it is most important to make the App available on Android phones first? Well not really. In Europe Android has a lower share of the market but it is still the leader by some distance with 70%+. However in the UK, where the people who will actually use the App are, the market is different, with 48% of phones running Android while iPhones (iOS) account for 51%*.

However, either way the Home Office thinking is badly deficient. There is no good reason, technical or otherwise, why Apps could not have been made available simultaneously on both operating systems and on the website. The only reason for doing it this way it to save a little bit of money, however, the additional cost of such development ought to be marginal.

Meanwhile little expense is spared organising fake traffic jams, putting out tenders for ferry contracts that don’t even require firms to own actual ships or ‘gaming’ plans to put the military on the streets or to scuttle the royals out of London should rioting break out.

It is really not good enough to treat people this way. I, along with other MEPs and MPs, signed a letter to Home Secretary Javid telling him that this is just shoddy. The Government needs to get its act together and start serving people rather than deepening the 'hostile environment' to serve the short-term interests of the Conservative Party.